10 Brilliant Tips to Hack a Great Name for Your Design Company
by Boost Inspiration · July 23, 2013
So, you really want to start your own business. I guess you have some stellar ideas that will launch your new startup to new heights and bring you close to the six-figures that everyone keeps telling us we should already have before we hit 30.
You have a grand plan and these ideas are just stewing in your head waiting for the right time to be put into motion. But first you have to solve a fundamental problem that millions before you have encountered as well. And that is choosing the name for your new design company.
As we all can agree, it’s never just a name because that name will be your face, your badge, the only thing that people will know you by and it is one of the most important aspects of your company.
Yes there is a saying that goes “Nothing in a name, but every man’s name is what he makes of it” which means the person, or in this case the company, decides what becomes of that name through actions.
The Name is a Business
Let’s take for example Google, everybody knows Google for reasons I need not mention, but let’s go back to the 80’s and tell someone that we want to name our company Google. They will most likely give you a face or a raised brow at least. The name doesn’t mean anything. Though, it was meant as a misspelling to the number “googol” which is the name for the number 10100 to convey that they aim to provide large quantities of data. The funny thing is that you didn’t even know that, nobody does care at all, and it doesn’t really sound all that good.
The reason that it sounds fine to us is because of its familiarity, brand recognition, in short the company’s background.
A dive into Naming Your Endeavor
Now that we established how important a name is, let’s get down on helping you come up with yours.
Here is a short yet helpful list to get you on the right track of hacking together an awesome name for your startup.
You might have heard about some of them before as people have probably thought about this stuff long before our grandparents even met. It’s not exactly quantum physics where a lot of stuffs have not been discovered yet.
Just make sure not to tarnish that nice name by going bankrupt in the first year like thousands of startups out there.
Sometimes a name just magically comes in our dreams and we know that would be it. But for most people, we have to get in the groove before we come up with the right name.
1. Recruit the right people
This is a business process, people, and it really speaks for itself. Just do it, you know why. But a little advise from me, have some people who get a lot of small ideas. Small ideas might not be much but a lot of them can compound. Also, never be without critics who usually voice against a lot of ideas, they can be a handful and may lower some people’s morale but if you control them right they will be a great balancer.
2. Loosen up with some games
I mean word play. Do some exercises with some ideas and throw them around for a bit of discussion and some jesting to get that part over with. After which, when everyone is in high spirits, you can start with the serious stuff and stronger ideas.
3. Generate ideas inconsistently
Again, this is self-explanatory. Get your idea factories churning out those small yet frequent ideas, and get those critics of yours to start swatting them as they get out. Lots of ideas being thrown around and criticized will lead to better ones, just make sure to control the situation before it gets hostile so set some ground rules. No swearing and no insults.
4. Pick the best one that everybody agrees with.
At the end of the brainstorming session, you will be able to come up with a few brilliant ideas and then discuss them thoroughly. Weigh the pros and cons and make the best choice.
If you do these things right, there is no reason for you to be stuck with a name like Foo Fighters; it sounds too much like Pooh (I spelled it with an ‘h’ but you know what I mean). Now here are a few guidelines as to what kind of names you should come up with as ideas
5. The company name needs to sound good when said aloud
So make sure to have your people keep saying those names that you like. If they really stick and sound nice, then you might just have a winner.
6. Choose names that convey what your company is all about
For example there is no way for you to know that Hell’s Angels is a motorcycle gang if you have never heard of them before. It sounds more like an air squadron, which coincidentally is also the name of one, so in their case the name is spot on.
7. Avoid 1337 speak (LEET, geeky, or hacker jargon)
Words like w1f1, e553nt1al5 and hax0rz are not pretty to look at and they are absolutely horrible to spell. That name would never take off in the web and your clients will have a very hard time looking you up online. People will have a hard time naming you, period.
8. Check the Availability of the domains
This is also an important tip in order to come up with a brilliant name for your business. You need to check whether the name is available for domain registration. For a strong online presence you will need to create a website for your business. After all, this is what will help your brand get a solid recognition in the web.
9. Initials are so 30 years ago
IBM, 3M, BP, UPS, UBS and any other combination of capital letters might be famous but they are not good for people to remember and you will have a lot of companies with the same initials. They work for the above companies because they have been in the business for decades and came from a time when those names were hip. So forget that one, allow people to name your initials but don’t make it your official name.
10. If the name can be trademarked, then better
It would be nice if you can have exclusivity with your brand name. A lot of companies have been ahead of you and most combinations will have been taken already. But if you can find one that isn’t then that would be perfect. It’s a good point to consider but not your top priority.
Well there you have it. I hope this little article helps you on your way to your dreams. If you ever hit it big, don’t forget about me and how I helped you with your now famous name. Wait, did I just call this article little?